Editorial:The other ‘F’ word: Stop abusing words

The “F” word is a bad word. No, not that “F” word, we’re talking about the word “Faggot.”

Words are powerful things. Nothing is more annoying than when someone uses a word because they think it sounds intelligent, but they don’t know its meaning. For example, “irregardless” is not a word at all.

In high school the misuse and abuse of words is common. High school students hear “That’s so gay,” “You’re lame,” “What a fag” and “That’s retarded” on an everyday basis.

Surprisingly, these phrases are still common at SE, a place where people go to further their education and prepare for future careers. Isn’t it surprising how many well-educated people are still misusing words? Do you ever stop to think about what the words you say really mean?

According to George Orwell,  “…if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

The words “Faggot” and “Gay” are often used to express dislike or anger at a person or object. These words are also used to describe homosexuals.

When people use these words interchangeably, it leads to an unjust correlation, gay equals bad.  Not only does the improper use of words lead to misconception, it makes the speaker look uneducated.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “retardation” means, “A condition in which mental development is slow or delayed.” So, when someone calls something retarded, they are literally using the name of a devastating mental illness to express that something is stupid.

What if your child suffered from say, cancer? Then you heard someone use the word cancer to illustrate how much he or she hates broccoli. This person is using the life-threatening disease your child is suffering from to make a joke. How would that make you feel?

Sadly the misuse of some words have become so commonplace that we don’t even think about how offensive misusing them is. Taking a word used to describe a group of people and using that word to describe anything and everything we don’t like shows that we have no respect for that group of people.

No matter how you feel about a group a people, you owe it to society to maintain a certain level or respect. Think of it this way; saying, “He looks so gay, gross” Has the exact same appearance of prejudice as saying, “He looks so black, gross” Or “He looks so Asian, gross” Or “He looks so Christian, gross.”

Breaking the habit of misusing words is hard, but it can be done. When someone hears word abuse, they can simply speak up and remind the person what they are actually saying.

Most people will see the error of their ways, but there will be those ignorant few that just don’t get it. However, if we all start working together to end this problem, the people misusing words will be the odd ones out.